Pitching phenom Strasburg draws a big crowd

Stephen Strasburg / file photo

Friday night saw the largest crowd to ever attend a baseball game in Syracuse, and not coincidentally the most notable minor league prospect to come through this town in years.

Before the game was even close to starting there were fans crowded around the third baseline at Alliance Bank Stadium just hoping to see Stephen Strasburg play catch. When he came out, a flood of cell phones cameras captured the moment for history.

"I've seen a lot of basketball and baseball games in my life but it's not very often you get to see a number 1 draft pick in person. especially here in Syracuse - it's very exciting," said Chris Schaffer of Cicero.

Marlyse Pirro learned what a lot of batters have found out the hard way - it's hard to see Strasburg's fastball. It took her several attempts to get a picture of him where his arm wasn't a blur of motion.

"From what I hear - a hundred miles an hour," said Pirro "He's moving very fast!"

13,766 fans watched the Chiefs win 7-0 as Strasburg only gave up two hits over six innings. The game was a sellout and the stadium ran out of standing room only spots and had to turn some fans away.

The large crowd gave the stadium a rock concert atmosphere but the biggest cheer wasn't for a Strasburg strikeout - it came after Strasburg hit a nice pitch and drove in the first of his two RBI.

"He's the real deal," said baseball fan James Capparelli. "Hits triple digits on the radar gun. We've got him for a good four or five starts and he'll be up in the majors."